ACA Officials Banking On a Vigorous Enrollment Period

The Obama administration wants this year’s ACA open enrollment period (90 days, starting yesterday until January 31, 2017) to inject needed energy into the program that, while successfully giving coverage to millions who hadn’t had it before, is also going through some tough times. Battered by news of soaring premiums and the exit of some major health insurers from the exchanges, officials have launched an all-out effort to sign up new enrollees. That’s key because the risk pool is also skewed, with too many older and less healthy enrollees and too few younger and healthier. But cost concerns have dominated news cycles lately.

“This year, the vast majority of consumers will qualify for tax credits that help keep coverage affordable, and it’s easier than ever to shop around and compare options,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement. “As we sound today’s opening bell, let’s also take stock of the historic gains in coverage we’ve made as a country, and work together to continue that progress.”

In order to quell concerns about rising premiums, Burwell noted that more than 70% ACA exchange consumers will be able to find plans for less than $75 per month, thanks to subsidies and tax credits. About 85% of current exchange enrollees qualify for tax credits.

Efforts this year to produce a robust sign-up include an education campaign that will use email, direct mail and social media. There will also be partnerships with technology companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Source: HHS Press Statement